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Scotland's leader delivered a shock twist to Britain's European Union exit drama on Monday, announcing that she will seek authority to hold a new independence referendum in the next two years because Britain is dragging Scotland out of the European Union against its will.

Ms Sturgeon stated: "H aving Scotland's referendum - at a time when the terms of Brexit are known - will give the Scottish people a choice about the kind of change we want".

The British PM says it's a deeply regrettable move, and a show of tunnel vision.

May said earlier this week that a second Scottish independence referendum would "cause huge economic uncertainty at the worst possible time". "Politics is not a game".

Addressing a press conference, Sturgeon said that the Scottish Parliament would request the approval of referendum from Westminster under Section 30.

Before Sturgeon's speech on Monday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn denied that he supported a second Scottish referendum, despite being reported as doing so at the weekend.

Scottish independence advocates lost a vote in September 2014 by a margin of 55 percent to 45.

Sturgeon accused May of failing to compromise during her discussions with SNP officials ahead of the Brexit process.

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As of Wednesday afternoon, just over 120,000 people had signed the petition, which is nearly 25,000 less than the whole of Dundee, Scotland's fourth largest city.

"The option of no change is no longer available", she said.

If consent is given by the Edinburgh and London parliaments, a legally binding referendum can be held.

Sturgeon said in her speech that the United Kingdom government had been less than cooperative when it came to dealing with the Scottish government on Brexit and the terms of Article 50.

And we trust you - the people of Scotland - to make that choice. May's United Kingdom government must then grant permission for a second vote.

She hit out at the Prime Minister, saying: 'UK membership of the single market was ruled out with no prior consultation with the Scottish Government, or indeed with the other devolved administrations - leaving us facing not just Brexit, but a hard Brexit.

The European Commission again said on Monday that an independent Scotland would have to formally re-apply to become an EU member state.

The second referendum is sought between autumn 2018 and spring 2019.

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